Vibrant, eclectic, colorful, artistic, natural, funky, sophisticated and folky only begin to describe the Asheville region of western North Carolina. Marketing (and wayfinding) for such a diverse area requires the communication of a consistent brand, while allowing for the individuality of each district, town and place to present its own unique character.
The Asheville Convention & Visitors Bureau hired MERJE to develop a comprehensive regional wayfinding program for the City of Asheville, Buncombe County and the individual towns of Black Mountain, Montreat, Weaverville and Woodfin. This is a benchmark project for regional wayfinding, as it also includes an analysis into the resulting economic return on investment; including before and after evaluations of annual destination visitation, effects on overnight hotel stays and overall customer satisfaction.
Gateways incorporate sculptural elements and create landmarks. Kiosks and post details provide opportunities for the inclusion of local artist in the design, capturing the funkiness of downtown Asheville. In addition to the planning and design of the system, MERJE’s responsibilities consist of developing the strategy for coordinating the program, creating a criteria for destination inclusion, assistance with obtaining funding and building consensus among the variety of stakeholders and municipalities.